Blog authored by Chet Namboodri, Cisco and Marieke Wijtkamp, Librestream
Sub-Zero is a family owned business and, perhaps, best known as the developer of the first cabinet built-in refrigerator in the 1950s. Today, the company is the leading manufacturer of luxury appliances in North America, selling its top-of-the-line appliances worldwide. Sub-Zero employs more than 1,000 workers, with production facilities in Madison, WI, Richmond, KY, and, now, Goodyear, AZ. They are also a world-class example of a company who’s leveraging the Internet of Everything to drive innovation and who truly embodies the renaissance in American manufacturing.
Accelerating New Product Introduction (NPI) Cycles
In order to prepare for the largest product roll-out in the company’s history--60 new appliance models across refrigeration and its premium cooking brand, Wolf--Sub-Zero needed a top-notch, end-to-end network to provide flexible communication and collaboration between its engineering groups, the existing factories in Madison, and the new production facility in Goodyear. In addition, Sub Zero needed to ensure robust communication and diagnostic data exchange with external suppliers and installation partners. Dubbed the “New Generation Collaboration Initiative,” Sub-Zero worked with Cisco and Librestream to aid the design, launch, and ongoing manufacture of its new products.
Sooner or later we all feel like throwing up our hands and cursing the complexity of modern life. But while technology may seem the chief culprit in making things unmanageable, it is also the ultimate solution to complexity.
In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, it is particularly important for business leaders to understand the power of technology to simplify our lives and support informed decision making. And this was a core theme at Sapphire Now 2014, an event in Orlando, Fla., that I was privileged to attend last week.
By using network technology to integrate people, process, data, and things, IoE counters complexity in unprecedented ways. In a city, this can involve something as simple as cutting the time it takes to find a (connected) parking space. Or IoE technologies can scale up to reroute traffic lights; for example, to head-off highway backups before, during, and after a large event.
In a brick-and-mortar retail setting (a key area of discussion at Sapphire Now), IoE can alleviate the complexity of managing customers, staffing, and products. With data from multiple sources comes heightened, real-time awareness, empowering managers to react faster than ever. For example, they can then stock shelves and reorganize staff in response to constantly changing levels of demand. With predictive analytics they can even respond before a customer rush begins.
The idea of hyper-aware, real-time decision-making resonated during a Sapphire Now panel discussion titled Thrive in the Digital Networks of the New Economy. I was honored to share the panel with such luminaries as Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT; Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute; and Jai Shekhawat, Deepak Krishnamurthy, and Vivek Bapat of SAP. And there was much discussion on the impact of bad decisions on failed organizations. Which is why we all take such an interest in technology that enables good ones.
Led by Cisco Senior VP John Kern, the supply chain operations team here at Cisco has undergone an extensive transformation and continues to be recognized globally as a best-in-class practitioner. With more than a thousand contract manufacturing and component suppliers, logistics (3PL) and other service partners, along with more than 25,000 orderable product IDs—which are broadly mixed amongst build cycles of engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, build-to-order and build-to-stock—the complexity and global scale of what our Cisco-resident supply chain gurus deal with on a daily basis could be staggering for some organizations but is managed with excellence by CSCO. Beyond the outstanding development and fulfillment supply chain and manufacturing management services rendered, CSCO has served as a tremendous expert asset and executive connection for our go-to-market expansion with manufacturing customers’ lines of business, particularly related to the Internet of Everything (IoE) market transition.
The splashy ad below illustrating a vision for the Internet of Things (IoT) has become much more of a reality and the technologies and products shown are in use within Cisco’s supply chain ecosystem today.
Recently, two Cisco colleagues — Edna Conway, VP CSCO and Chief Security Officer and Bob Dean, Director, Manufacturing and Energy Vertical, co-authored an excellent article for Manufacturing Leadership Journal entitled ‘The Fourth Dimension of Supply Chains’. The article highlights how new technologies are empowering supply chains as never before, and how they are also exposing enterprises and ecosystems to new risks. Cisco’s comprehensive approach to mitigate risks and bolster confidence across the supply chain focuses on the four areas of malicious modification/substitution of technology, counterfeit products (both raw materials and finished goods), the security component of supply chain resiliency and misuse of intellectual property.
Discipline surrounding that fourth topic of securing intellectual property has become an even greater concern in the face of new business models and innovations with the application of IoE in manufacturing. Best-in-class manufacturers are, like Cisco, increasingly leveraging their supply chains and ecosystems to develop offering portfolios balanced between sustaining and disruptive innovations that are derived from scrutinized customer segmentation and guided by such principles as value-driven design discipline, cross-BU portfolio platform awareness and rationalization, differentiated solution-service bundling, and connected system-level lifecycle services (e.g., Product as a Service). All of these design and innovation processes require immersive and intimate collaboration with customers and across supply chains.
Cisco’s relevance to enable manufacturing supply chain and innovation strategies to achieve more transformative business outcomes has never been greater:
Today Sustainable Brands writer Dimitar Vlahov names Cisco and its nonprofit partner Good World Solutions as a Hot Couple in Sustainability for our work to develop and scale the Labor Link mobile platform that improves transparency in global supply chains.
Vlahov writes, “What if workers in a global brand’s supply chain could access a free and anonymous channel to report on working conditions, and the brand in question could get real-time data to identify and address problems quickly, before they become front-page news? Well, this is now a reality for adopters of solutions like Labor Link, and clients such as Cisco are already making good use of it.”
At Cisco, security runs through everything that we do. It is our commitment to deliver verifiable, trustworthy network architectures built on secure software and secure hardware, backed by prudent supply chain security practices.
That’s why Cisco created the Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle (Cisco SDL) to ensure that security is central through the entire product development process. CSDL is a repeatable and measurable process we’ve designed to fortify the resiliency and trustworthiness of our offerings, allowing our customers to deploy high-quality products that they can trust.
Cisco SDL utilizes many industry standards and best practices, including ISO certification as part of our development processes. ISO certification provides customers validation and confidence that our processes, such as common technology requirements, secure coding procedures, code reviews, testing, and verification are consistently executed within our product development.
In 2013, we made internal compliance with the Cisco SDL process a stop-ship-grade requirement for all new Cisco products and development projects. As we make our way through 2014, we are building on this commitment, holding our teams accountable and training stakeholders to understand the importance of Cisco SDL process, adoption, and compliance.
From our Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) to our Aggregation Services Routers (ASRs), more products are being introduced across the Cisco portfolio that are Cisco SDL compliant. We look forward to keeping you up to date on progress with the CSDL initiative over the coming months.
Check out the video below where I explain Cisco SDL in more detail: